Cloth Diapering 101

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

We *love* our cloth diapers! I remember very clearly, though, how overwhelming all the options were at the beginning. Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt, because every baby is different and you won’t really know what works best for your baby and your family until you plunge in and try stuff out, but here is my $0.02:

We prefer one-size pockets, and our favorite brands are Kawaii Baby and Alva (both very affordable!) and FuzziBunz (a little narrower-cut, so good for little babies). They are very similar to AIO’s, but we like pockets best because you can dry the inserts separately from the outside of the diaper (they dry at different rates, and the inserts can go in the dryer with no problem but the waterproof fabric will wear out a lot faster if you machine dry it).

Re. leaks – it all depends on getting a good fit, and that will depend on your baby’s shape and what works best for him/her. We tried the BumGenius 4.0’s and found that they gapped and leaked around our baby’s legs – but they are very popular in general and work really well for many babies.

Your baby will go through a LOT of diapers in the newborn phase, not quite so many as he/she gets to be a few months older. We do laundry about every third day at this point (our LO is 8 mos.)

Feel free to PM me if you have other questions! You might check, too, to see if your local cloth diaper store does any kind of consignment sale? Ours has one twice a year, and it’s a good way to pick up inexpensive secondhand diapers. You might think about getting a few different styles so you can try them out and see what you like before investing in a whole stash.

Also, there’s *nothing* wrong with doing the cloth a little bit at a time. In fact, it can be a very smart way to figure out what works for you and build up your stash slowly.

Post # 3
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I use one size diapers.  It was just too confusing to figure out how many of each size to try, and I figured I’d be spending more money by having multiple sizes (because you will still need X amount of diapers for each size).

I’ve never had a problem with leaks.  Now, I’ve had leaks but that has only happened when a diaper has gotten oversaturated.  Disposables will leak too when oversaturated.  I actually have less poop blowouts in cloth than with disposables (we used disposables the first month and then switched to disposables only for overnight and travel and cloth the rest of the time).

I use BG 4.0s and Freetimes.  I actually prefer the 4.0s (these are pockets) because they can be less bulky than the Freetimes and because you can dry the inserts in the dryer.  So the 4.0s dry faster than the freetimes.  The only nice thing about freetimes is you don’t have to stuff them, but I don’t think stuffing the pockets is that time consuming either.  Stuff them after they’re dry and put them in the drawer so they are ready to go.  You don’t want to have to stuff each diaper as you go.  This makes them super simple to use.  No harder than a regular diaper.

I bought 30 diapers (15 of each) and it has been more than enough.  I did take a pretty big gamble by buying only one brand, but it has worked fine for us.  You might be better off buying a couple diapers of the type you think you want to use and if it works then purchasing more after that.  I knew I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with 6 or more different brands of diapers so I just choose to go with one of the more popular ones and stuck with that.

I didn’t want to get into prefolds because I figured it would be too much of a hassle for babysitters, grandparents, DH, etc.  Though I think prefolds are actually the cheapest way to go if you’re interested in that. 

You go through a lot of diapers when they’re newborns (10-12 a day?) but by 2-3 months ours slowed down a lot (7 a day?).  I do the laundry about every 3 days.  I use a planet wise wet bag and it holds all of the smells in. 

Look on FB to see if there are any cloth diapering groups in your area.  They are very helpful for questions and also for buy/sell/trade type things.

Also find a diaper cream that is safe for cloth diapers.

Post # 4
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

Completely agree with kes18 about the blowouts! We also used disposables for the very first few weeks and occasionally since then while traveling, and we’ve had way more blowouts with them than we ever did with cloth. (However, some families have the opposite experience – and some families swear by one disposable brand over another, depending on what works or not for their babies, just like with the cloth ones).

Post # 5
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We used disposables until DD was around 3 months old, because it made more sense to us to wait until she fit into the normal-sized cloth dipes rather than buying a whole supply of newborn sized.

We use both pocket and AIO diapers — Swaddlebees Simplex AIO, Bumgenius AIO, and Alva and Kawaii pockets. I wrote a long and humorous review of all four different styles of diaper on my blog. I’ll PM you a link, if you’d like to check it out.

Post # 6
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

bluesea10:  Thank you so much for posting this!  I’m definitely going to follow along.  I love the idea of cloth diapering but right now that feels like the “one thing too many” to research and just overwhelms me.  Do you happen to have a good diapering for dummies website for the super basics?

Post # 8
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

KCKnd2:  Thank you!  This looks perfect.  I don’t mind reading through a good website’s worth of info (actually really enjoy it) – I was just having trouble figuring out which website to spend time on.  This was exactly what I needed!

Post # 10
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

This is another helpful site specifically addressing the differentials in cost:

http://www.paddedtushstats.com/2012/04/30/the-hidden-costs-cloth-diapering-and-disposable-diapering/

Depending on where you look, you will find sites that claim everything from huge costs savings with cloth to having it work out almost on par with disposables. It depends on a wide array of factors:

  • What type of diapers you opt for
  • Whether you buy brand-new or secondhand
  • How big of a stash you get
  • Whether you invest in liners, a diaper sprayer, extra wet bags, etc.
  • What type of detergent you use and how much
  • Whether you choose cloth or disposable wipes
  • Whether your community charges extra fees to haul away extra bags of trash, etc.

And so on, and so on. However, two huge but easy-to-forget details to keep in mind are, first, that if you plan to have more than one child, you will come out WAY ahead by using cloth. You will only have the up-front costs once; for subsequent children, you will only need to pay for laundry and maybe an occasional diaper now and then to refresh your stash. Second, cloth diapers (and wetbags, etc.) hold their value reasonably well and can be re-sold when you are done with them – there is a thriving after-market. Even if you only use cloth for one child, you can expect to recoup roughly 50% of what you spent on the diapers and some of the accessories by selling them afterward, whereas money spent on disposables is 100% unrecoverable.

Post # 12
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

bluesea10:  I didn’t try putting her in the cloth until about 1 month, but by then she actually wasn’t even on the smallest setting so I imagine they would have fit her earlier.  She was born at 7lbs 4oz and was around 9.5 lbs at 1 month.  The BG one size are supposed to start fitting at 8lbs I think so it sounds pretty accurate.  I just used disposable NB size until she was bigger.

Post # 13
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

bluesea10: 

KCKnd2:  Yep, I agree.  There are local FB buy/sell/trade cloth diapering groups and even on Craigslist…most of the diapers sell for 50% of their current market price.  So you can even sell them when you’re done and make some $ back.  HUGE savings if you’re having more than one kid.  People can also teach you how to replace things like elastics or help with washing advice.

Post # 14
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

bluesea10:  Thanks!!  Looks like I have lots of reading to start poking through during Sunday’s football games.  🙂

Post # 15
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

bluesea10:  I PM’d you a link yesterday — let me know if you need it again. I’m deleting messages like it’s my job today, so if you message me I might miss it!

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